GRAFFIATO

GRAFFIATO

Top Chef All-Stars (Season 8) was probably one of my favorites of the series, since it managed to bring together a wide variety of personalities and competitors from all seven seasons prior. Although I hadn’t watched Chef Mike Isabella while he was on Top Chef Las Vegas (Season 6), I got to watch his entire run to the finale during All-Stars, facing off against Richard Blais, who I had been rooting for during his run on Top Chef Chicago (Season 4).

Fast forward now a few years. It was during a conversation with my friend Mark that he tells me about this restaurant he had really enjoyed called Graffiato. He then mentioned that I would probably recognize the name of the owner: Mike Isabella. I had forgotten that he had opened some restaurants in D.C., and Graffiato subsequently bumped up quite a few notches on my list for restaurants to check out. Continue reading

TEARIFFIC CAFE

TEARIFFIC CAFE

Growing up, I would go out with my family to Chinatown in New York City a lot to visit my grandparents. We would always get take out from a number of different Chinese restaurants, so I got the chance to sample a lot of different dishes. Aside from developing an immense love for fried rice and roast pork, I had another dish that I always liked due to both its simplicity and flavor profile: Singapore chow mei fun. It was something that we frequently got whenever we went into the city, and now having moved away from the area, I was hard pressed to find a place that made it close to what I could find in Chinatown. That is where southern Maryland surprised me again. Continue reading

STONEY’S SEAFOOD HOUSE

STONEY’S SEAFOOD HOUSE

I don’t remember exactly how the topic of crab cakes came up, but it was in a conversation with one of my friends Randy during my last job. He spoke very highly about Stoney’s, a place that he had frequented many times over the years and said made the best crab cakes in the area. At the beginning of this month, I moved down here to the southern Maryland area (closer to the restaurant than when I was in Alexandria) and this past weekend, I met up with Randy at Stoney’s to catch up on how things were going and also to give these crab cakes a try. Continue reading